Vietnamese rice paper rolls

Vietnamese rice paper rolls Prawns are probably my favourite ingredient of all time. Plump juicy little things. Yum. And you can keep raw tiger prawns in the freezer and just defrost a quantity as you need them. So this recipe really floats my boat – especially as each roll is a mere 69 calories. Perfect on a hot summer’s day.

Vietnamese rice paper rollsVietnamese rice paper rolls

Ingredients serves 4
25g rice vermicelli noodles
16 x 22cm round rice papers, extra-thin if possible
300g (about 48) large cooked peeled prawns
About 50 fresh mint leaves
Small bunch of fresh coriander sprigs, leaves picked
About 50 fresh basil leaves, Thai sweet basil if possible
50g unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated, on a mandoline if possible
¼ cucumber, deseeded and cut into short, fine matchsticks
1 little gem lettuce, leaves finely shredded
For the nuoc cham dipping sauce
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1-2 long thin red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar

How to prepare
Put the noodles into a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.
Get all your ingredients prepared and to hand, with a large shallow dish of warm water and a clean, wet tea towel. Submerge a paper in the water for 1 minute ( 30 seconds for extra-thin papers) to soften. Remove and lay on the towel. Arrange 3 prawns down the centre with some herbs, noodles, peanut, carrot, cucumber and lettuce. Don’t put too much on, or it will be too fat to roll.
Fold the edge of the paper closest to you over the filling, fold in the sides, then roll up tightly to make a neat parcel. Set aside on a serving plate and repeat with the remaining papers. Cover with a damp tea towel while you make the dipping sauce.
Grind the garlic, chilli and sugar in a mortar to a coarse paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar and 1 tbsp water. Divide among individual dipping saucers. Uncover the rolls and serve with the sauce.